I said in my blog post yesterday that this would be the best semi-final yet. I have no doubt that the producers etc engineered it this way to have such a great line-up, but it means that some fantastic acts who deserve to go through to the final, didn't.
I already knew who went through before I watched the episode - my mum rang me today and spoke about it, not knowing that I hadn't yet seen it, but I didn't mind really. It did make it a shame when I did watch all the acts, knowing that while they performed well, they weren't good enough to get through.
I wrote that there was only eight acts in this show, but of course Ryan O'Shaughnessy made it back. How could I have doubted it? Must have been a tricky situation if he had actually signed a contract with the other show - breaking a contract is not exactly a clean thing to do. Anyway - he was amazing. Unbelievably hot, so I don't know why on earth this girl isn't interested in him. I loved that he sang his own song, but I preferred his audition one. I hope we hear a new song on Saturday.
IMO, Aquabatique had a slight edge on Ryan. They really upped their performance from their audition and they were great visuallly and technically. They're sort of like the Spelbound of the water and they give a whole new meaning to swimming. It would be very cool if they won - variety, no? - but I have no idea how they would manage the practicalities of a performance at the Royal Variety.
It's a shame that Billy George didn't get through because he's such a 'variety' act too. I'd love to be able to do what he does with a hula-hoop, though I wouldn't look half as good as he does doing it. I was a little bored by the first half of his performance, but I would love to see him back as the wildcard just to see him perform again.
I don't think that Strictly Wheels, Hope Murphy nor Lazor Harp lived up to their first performances, which is very disappointing. Martyn Crofts was just hilarious (not in a good way) and Callum Oakley was brilliant. I wish the latter had had more time to show off his breadth and potential. Face Team really managed to surpass their initial performance. I never loved trampolining when we did it but I really admired those who could do it well - it's like these guys were born to bounce.
So, appearing in the final on Saturday we have:
- Ashleigh and Pudsey
- Only Boys Aloud
- Jonathan and Charlotte
- Kai and Natalia
- Loveable Rogues
- Molly Rainford
- Sam Kelly
- Nu Sxool
- Ryan O'Shaughnessy
There are far too many singers: six, not counting a potential wildcard. For that reason, however much I love The Mend, it would be contrary to the aim of variety to put them through. We've established that it'll be the judges who choose the wildcard. Judging by the performances we've seen over the five shows, I think that the potential candidates for the wildcard position are:
- The Mend
- Billy George
- Four Corners
Not so sure about Four Corners, but they're still a possibility. It would be great to see Callum Oakley through, but I don't think he quite stepped it up enough. To allow either The Mend or Malaki through would be to weigh down the competition too much which could possibly tip the balance in favour of the 'variety' acts of which I only really consider Aquabatique and Ashleigh and Pudsey to be classed under. Even if the judges did put through one of the four (possibly five) acts that I mentioned, I don't think that any of them (however much I love some of them) have the potential to win. The wildcard might make the show more interesting, but it's a bit pointless and a false hope.
So who am I predicting to win? Hard to say, really. The only ones that I'm ruling out completely are Nu Sxool (you've heard how much I hate them) and Kai and Natalia, who, despite being very good at what they do, don't give the audience as much of a wow impact as some of the others. I think Ashleigh and Pudsey might also fall into this category - I know how I was so enthusiastic about how much I loved this dog, but compared to the others, unless they really up their performance, it's not going to be enough.
The singers all add their own unique twist to what they do. Only Boys Aloud and Jonathan and Charlotte both do opera-things but the impact of each is completely different. Molly makes a big impression because of her age and the maturity of her voice; Loveable Rogues make what they do fun to watch. We have two boys with guitars: Sam and Ryan. I'd choose Ryan over Sam anyday, even though I'm still a tad iffy about the fact that he had an opportunity on another show already, despite how much I love him. His story behind his music makes him adorable and he's a brilliant song-writer; of all the contestants, I think he has the best chance of making a success of himself even if he doesn't win.
I'd love Aquabatique to win because of the variety factor that they bring. I'd want to see some new tricks on Saturday and something really big like when Spelbound threw one gymnast over the judges' heads. It would be both a big boost as well as an in-your-face moment for the Olympics if they did win.
An open contest, really. I'd like to say that I think either Aquabatique, Ryan or Jonathan and Charlotte will win, but Molly and Only Boys Aloud are contenders also. We'll just have to see whose performance is best on the night.